You will have noticed two new logos on this blog and my web site. Epiq Systems and Anacomp have agreed to support the e-Disclosure Information Project, and although I put their logos up at once, I have not had time to welcome them properly.
Epiq makes DocuMatrix, Version 12.0 of which was released recently. Version 12.0 added multilingual support – more than 60 languages – to a set of tools which (in Epiq’s own words) were designed by litigators, for litigators and which collect, analyse, filter, deduplicate, process, review, cluster and produce eDisclosure documents with utmost efficiency.
Epiq impresses for three reasons beyond the technology in DocuMatrix. I have written elsewhere about their Categorisation feature which allows the user to pick a few documents which are representative of a class and then retrieves the other documents which are “like” the selected ones. I put “like” in quotation marks because I am less concerned with the precise nature of the algorithms which make the selection, and more interested in the transparency of the results. Lawyers do not want to delegate the selection process to a black box. This feature of DocuMatrix makes the application an aide whose work can be checked by eye and not just a hidden process.
The other reasons are similarly to do with making the technical seem approachable. Epiq’s web site is a model of clarity. You can find enough about the product to whet your appetite, case studies which actually relate to real life (one called How does a very small law firm prepare for a very big trial gives you exactly that) and an easily-found name and v-card for the Sales Director, Mike Brown. These seem obvious enough basic requirements for a web site, but many sites seem almost willfully obscure.
Lastly, they are nice people to deal with – a factor which is often under-estimated but which I consider critical to a relationship on which the clients’ litigation can turn.
Good personal relationships also underlie the connection with Anacomp. Anacomp has been in the business of collecting and storing electronic data for 40 years, and last year bought CaseLogistix, a litigation review application which I was already watching with interest. I met the CaseLogistix people last year both in London and at LegalTech in New York, and took instantly to both them and their application.
Its catch-phrase was so simple to use that lawyers actually use it, now more soberly expressed as Most users are able to use 80% or more of the end user functionality of CaseLogistix immediately with little or no training.
Anacomp, who apparently made a thorough (and deeply technical) survey of the market before opting for CaseLogistix, did two things of major significance. One was to defer the then imminent release of CaseLogistix 5.2 and subject it to a ground-up review to be sure that everything worked as it should. The other was to give out-of-the-box integration with others (such as Attenex, Equivio, and Syngence) to put CaseLogistix at the centre of a streamlined and comprehensive review process.
That deferred (and sensibly) the proper launch of CaseLogistix 5.2 in the UK. I went last week to a seminar at which Billy Hyatt (one of the CaseLogistix founders, now Senior Business Development Specialist at Anacomp US) spoke about some of the new features, and users talked about their experiences. I would pick out the drag-and-drop autocoding and the ability to flip between different views of the same document (native, image, text etc) by selecting a tab.
I know Billy Hyatt well but had not hitherto met the team over here, particularly the UK Sales Director, Stephen Davis, whose approach is that client support is the key element in getting, and keeping, clients.
These two products obviously compete in the same space. As with many such applications, their similarities (Equivio for example) are greater than their differences, but it will be the differences which make a user choose one rather than another. Those differences may be to do with specific technical attributes or user functions, may be to do with price, or may turn on the personal fit between buyer and support team.
My role is not to advise as to your choice (either as between these two or between them and the others on the market) but to draw attention to the fact that choices exist and to make it easy for you to find them. That is stage two of the role anyway – stage one is persuading you that electronic review and disclosure of electronic documents is inherently a sensible notion, or at least one to consider.
The very best way to consider it is to see some of the tools and their providers. The contacts for the two discussed on this page are given below:
Mike Brown / +44 207 367 9140 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Davis / +44 118 936 1616 / email@example.com